On June 4, 2008, Act 271, R321, H4601 was signed to:
- Create the Office of Victim Services Education and Certification (OVSEC) within the Office of the Crime Victims' Ombudsman;
- Establish certification and continuing education requirements for victim services providers; and
- Authorize and promulgate necessary regulations.
THE OFFICE OF THE CRIME VICTIMS' OMBUDSMAN, OFFICE OF VICTIM SERVICES EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION (OVSEC) was created to:
- 1. Provide oversight of training, education, and certification of victim assistance programs;
- 2. With approval of the Victim Services Coordinating Council (VSCC), promulgate training standards and requirements;
- 3. Approve training curricula for credit hours toward certification;
- 4. Provide Victim Services Provider certification; and
- 5. Maintain records of certified Victim Services Providers.
All public victim assistance programs shall ensure that all Victim Service Providers (VSPs) employed in their respective offices are certified through the Office of Victim Services Education and Certification within the Office of the Crime Victims’ Ombudsman.
VSPs, serving in public or private nonprofit programs, employed on the effective date of January 1, 2009 are exempt from the 15 hours basic certification requirements but shall meet the 12 hours of annual continuing education requirements to maintain certification.
VSPs, serving in public or private nonprofit programs, employed after the effective date of this chapter are required to complete the basic certification requirements within one year from date of employment and to meet annual continuing education requirements to maintain certification throughout their employment.
Summary Court and Detention Center employees who have been identified by their supervisor as crime victim notifiers are considered Notifiers/Support Staff. Notifiers/Support Staff must complete the 2 hour Notifiers/Support Staff training track every other calendar year.
Victim Assistance Program
Section 16-3-1400. For the purpose of this article:
(1) "Victim Service Provider" means a person:
- (a) who is employed by a local government or state agency and whose job duties involve providing victim assistance as mandated by South Carolina law; or
- (b) whose job duties involve providing direct services to victims and who is employed by an organization that is incorporated in South Carolina, holds a certificate of authority in South Carolina, or is registered as a charitable organization in South Carolina, and the organization's mission is victim assistance or advocacy and the organization is privately funded or receives funds from federal, state, or local governments to provide services to victims.
"Victim Service Provider" does not include a municipal court judge, magistrates court judge, circuit court judge, special circuit court judge, or family court judge.
Section 16-3-1680. The Crime Victims’ Ombudsman of the Office of the Governor may promulgate those regulations necessary to assist it in performing its required duties as provided by this chapter.
To view the Office of Victim Services Education and Certification’s governing statute, please click here.